Top Eight Small Business SEO Mistakes

One of the many challenges of small business ownership is establishing an effective online presence. With the economy currently in pieces, every sale counts and if you’re not online, you’re missing out on a hell of a lot of sales.

One of the most important aspects of creating an effective online presence is the correct application of SEO. Regardless of what you’re selling, your customers are on Google and SEO is the key towards reaching them.

Should you find yourself struggling with the intricacies of small business SEO, learning what not to do is an important step to take. Here are eight of the most commonly made small business SEO mistakes.

Going After the Wrong Keywords

If you want your SEO efforts to bring you more customers, you must target the right keywords. Target overly competitive keywords, and your odds of ranking are slim to none. Target keywords that nobody is searching for on the other hand, and it doesn’t really matter where you rank.

Take the time to determine exactly what keywords people use when searching for a product or service similar to your own. And be realistic when it comes to deciding which ones you target.

The fascinating world of SEO

Building the Wrong Backlinks

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to backlinks, it’s quality, not quantity, that counts. Ten high quality backlinks are worth a thousand of the low quality variety. In fact, purchasing a thousand low quality backlinks is more likely to harm your site than help it.

Your backlink strategy should be based upon building high quality backlinks at a slow and steady pace. Anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something that you’d be mad to purchase.

TopRank Social SEO Cycle

Forgetting About Internal Backlinks

An often overlooked aspect of SEO is the small matter of cross linking i.e. building links between the different pages on your site. While external links are arguably the most important, internal links are not something that you can afford to forget about either.

The more internal links you have, the lower your bounce rate will be. Internal links are also necessary to ensure that your SEO efforts are equally distributed across your sites individual pages.

Underestimating the Importance of Content

An effective backlinking strategy is at the heart of any successful SEO campaign but it’s not the only ingredient. If you want to rank for anything, you’re also going to need unique, high quality content.

Many small business owners try to cut costs in this department but doing so is not to be recommended. Google loves high quality content and if you want to rank, you need to provide it.

Keyword Stuffing

When writing content for your site, it’s important to keep your target keywords in mind. You’re going to have a tough time ranking for a particular keyword if your site makes no mention of it. There is however a limit that you must not cross.

Recommended keyword density is between two and five percent, depending upon who you talk to. Try to pack in anymore than that and you’re more likely to harm your sites ranking than improve it.

Components of Inbound Marketing

Expecting SEO to be a One Time Job

A single SEO campaign can work wonders for a websites rankings but unfortunately, rankings don’t always last. Just because you outrank your competitors today, that doesn’t mean that you’ll still outrank them tomorrow.

SEO is an ongoing responsibility for any business that wants to maintain a successful website. Content should be added to your site on a regular basis. Backlinks should be on a regular basis. And when Google changes one of its algorithms, you need to know about it.

Hiring the Wrong SEO Company

If you’re new to the world of SEO, hiring professional help can make a lot of sense. The best SEO companies aren’t cheap but provided you can convert the traffic that they send you, you should start making your money back within a few months.

Unfortunately, not all SEO companies were created equal. Here are three red flags that you’re talking to the wrong company.

  • They’re endorsed by Google. Google never has, and never will, endorse an SEO company.

  • They’re guaranteeing certain rankings. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to SEO. There are simply too many factors in play. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.

  • They’re trying to compete on price. Unfortunately, when it comes to SEO, you get what you pay for.

Thinking It’s All About SEO

Finally, there’s the biggest SEO mistake of them all, thinking that higher rankings automatically mean more sales. SEO can increase your sites traffic but it has no effect on how much of that traffic actually converts.

In other words, if your website has a habit of turning customers off, it doesn’t really matter where you end up ranking. A thousand visitors a day doesn’t mean a thing if they all leave without purchasing anything

When optimising your site for the search engines, don’t forget to optimise it for your customers too. It’s not the search engines that will be purchasing your products.

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About Author: John Miller is a SEO pundit and has been working in this industry for more then a decade now. Visit his website to get the latest SEO techniques, strategies, tips and news.

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Dinesh Thakur is editor of Click Conversion Blog. Dinesh write about Digital Marketing, SEM , SEO and Web Analytics. You can follow him at Google+

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